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KLM Open again the most sustainable golf event on tour

September 18, 2012

International CSR consultancy Between-us has revealed the results of the second Sustainable Golf Index of 82 global golf tournaments, a benchmark measuring the perceived sustainability of professional golf tournaments.

The Netherlands’ KLM Open, an official tournament on the PGA European Tour, is ranked as the most sustainable golf event of 2012 after a close finish with the Belas Clube de Campo Senior Open de Portugal.

The Sustainable Golf Index allows tournaments and their sponsors to benchmark their progress in sustainability. Many of the companies sponsoring professional golf tournaments are faced with increasing demands on reputation and sustainability. Between-us believes that these standards should also be maintained at events that companies associate their name with, providing consistency in the approach of corporate social responsibility.

Jan van der Kaaij, Managing Director of Between-us, says: “Due to the temporary nature of major sports events, they often focus on the organisational and economic execution of the event, foregoing sustainability issues such as the carbon footprint, waste management, local community involvement, and other key indicators. The aim of the Sustainable Golf Index is to raise awareness of this issue amongst golf events and to help them develop a more sustainable approach.”

Tournaments were scored according to three domains: People, Planet and Virtues, with each domain comprising seven indicators. The KLM Open achieved the highest score of 82.9%, a strong increase in comparison with last year. During the 2011 event, the organisers showcased a number of initiatives such as efficient waste management on site with so-called ‘walking bins’, electric vehicles on the golf course, fuel-efficient vehicles to transfer players, green energy for the event, biological catering, and protection of the flora and fauna on the golf course. With its remaining emissions being offset, the KLM Open is a carbon neutral tournament.

Top 10 Sustainable Golf Index 2012
Pos. Tournament Venue Tour
Score % 2012
Score % 2011
1 KLM Open Hilversumsche Golf Club, The Netherlands European Tour
2 Belas Clube de Campo Senior Open Belas Clube de Campo, Portugal Senior Tour
3 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Old Course St. Andrews, Scotland European Tour
4 Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open Golf Gerre Losone, Switzerland Ladies Tour
5 Saab Wales Open The Celtic Manor Resort, Wales European Tour
6 Ricoh Women's British Open Carnoustie Golf Club, Scotland Ladies Tour
7 Johnnie Walker Championship The Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland European Tour
8 Saint Omer Open Aa Saint Omer GC, France European Tour
9 Evian Masters Evian Masters GC, France Ladies Tour
10 BMW PGA Championship Wentworth Club, England European Tour

Other events that performed well included the Belas Clube de Campo Senior Open (Portugal), Alfred Dunhill Links Championship (Scotland), and the Deutsche Bank Ladies Open (Switzerland). The average total sustainability score was 24.8%, an increase compared to 23.5% last year.

Some other notable facts derived from the results are that:
• 18.3% of all events recycle their waste
• 31.7% of all events donate money or resources to charity
• 3.7% of all events measure carbon emissions

The four winners on the individual Tours were:
• European Tour: KLM Open
• European Senior Tour: Belas Clube de Campo Senior Open de Portugal
• Ladies European Tour: Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open
• European Challenge Tour: ECCO Tour Championship

The Sustainable Golf Index study was conducted among 82 tournaments of the European Tour, Senior Tour, Ladies Tour, and the European Challenge Tour. Based on the 2011 Tour schedule, the golf tournaments were ranked in the Sustainable Golf Index on the perceived sustainability assessment presenting the total score in percentages.

The full Sustainable Golf Index report is available to download here. The report provides detailed results for individual events and compares the score with the best in class and the sector average. Furthermore, the report includes best practices as well as positive and negative actions for each tournament. To request your hard copy of the sector report of the Sustainable Golf Index, please contact Bart Stadhouders via or call +31 (0)76 5222 817.

About The Sustainable Golf Project - Enjoy nature, advance business

The Sustainable Golf Project helps golf courses and golf events to become more sustainable. Through benchmarking, golf courses and golf events can compare themselves with others in the sector and learn from best practices. With these insights, golf courses and golf events are able to realize quick wins on sustainability. A sustainable golf course operates more cost-efficiently and attracts more golfers.

The Sustainable Golf Project is a global project with golf courses from approximately 25 different countries in its database.

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